Why Do Smiles Need A Six-Month Exam?

Did you know that the American Dental Association (ADA) recommends a visit every six months for kids, teens, and adults? We agree! A regular visit for a thorough dental exam is vital for maintaining better oral health and keeping your teeth bright and healthy. In today’s blog, your Des Moines, IA, dentist is talking about the importance of a six-month exam.

The Importance of a Routine Checkup

When we see your smile on a regular basis, we can monitor it and watch for the earliest possible indicators of trouble. By addressing these problems early, we help protect your smile from serious complications, complications that could mean missing teeth in some cases! Using advanced technology, we look for signs of wear and friction that could point to TMJ disorder and bruxism, as well as warning signs of cavities and infection. We watch the gums for warning signs of gingivitis and periodontal disease, and even screen adult smiles for oral cancer. A visit is crucial for people over the age of two, and should happen every six months. If you have high risk factors for gum disease, then one every three to four months may be needed.

The Cleaning Process

In addition to examining your smile, our team will also perform a detailed cleaning, which removes the plaque and tartar buildup that brushing and flossing alone cannot. Plaque forms when harmful oral bacteria consume sugary and starchy food particles, creating a sticky layer that coats the teeth and weakens tooth enamel. The layer also irritates the gum tissue as well. A simple cleaning helps reduce the risk of cavities, infection, gingivitis, and even periodontal disease. You also enjoy brighter teeth and fresher breath as well.

Signs of Trouble

When should you schedule a visit in between these routine appointments? Well, always let us know if you begin to experience persistent pain, such as tooth sensitivity or toothaches. Let us know if your gums begin to ache, look red, or bleed easily. These uncomfortable symptoms could point to cavities and even gum disease, and the sooner we offer the treatment the better your smile’s health can be. If you have any questions about protecting your smile, or if you would like to schedule a visit for you and your family, then contact our team today. We want to make sure you enjoy your best possible smile with general and preventive care.


With routine visits every few months, we can help people of all ages maintain optimal oral health. To learn more about our preventive dental visits, then schedule a consultation with Dr. Burds by calling Gateway Dental Group in downtown Des Moines, IA, at (515) 244-9565.